Book Review-Kraken-Rising

Kraken Rising

(Alex Hunter #6)
by

Greig Beck

 

I once read an author’s review of his book, set in Antarctica, in which he stated that a continent largely unexplored could be the setting for all manner of books.  It may have been Alex Hunter’s first visit to the Antarctic continent.  I do not remember.

Kraken Rising has been sitting on my reading list for some time now and I am not sure why I did not read it at an earlier date.  Kraken Rising has all the pace and intrigue as any of Greg Beck’s previous books.

With the world on the brink of nuclear war it is up to Arcadian and his team to save the day.  And it is not only the world Arcadian is trying to save this time round, it is also the mother of his son who has been sent to Antarctica find Arcadian who is of prime concern.

Likening the monster to modern day animal was a stroke of genius and I don’t think I will ever go near the beach again.  Cephalopods, at least the octopus, do have a beak and when this monster’s beak came chasing our heroes…well, just close your eyes and imagine.

Throw in reports of missing ships, boats and sailors in Australia’s Bass Strait, a Strait which has never been more than a forty-minute drive from home, and we have enough facts to substantiate another great plot.

******

I think

Kraken Rising

 Image result for Kraken Rising

is a

read.

In 2017,

Goodreads readers have rated

Kraken Rising

 an average of 4.24 stars from

531 ratings and 54 reviews.

I am also surprised that so few have bothered

to rate and review this novel.

 

Kraken Rising

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia, and Amazon

 

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Book Review-The-Blue-Mile

The Blue Mile

by

Kim Kelly

While I have grouped The Blue Mile in the General Fiction category, it is said, on the blurb to be an historical fiction novel, which I suppose is, as it takes place at the start of Australia’s Great Depression in the early 1930s.  The Blue Mile refers to the stretch of water, in Sydney Harbour, between the homes of lead characters, Yo O’Keenan and Miss Olivia Greene.

O’Kennan and Greene must overcome their Irish Catholic and English backgrounds and also in the mix is O’Kennan’s young sister who he has taken with him to escape an abusive home environment.

O’Kennan manages to find work building latter stages of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.   This is not ongoing work and upon its conclusion his Irish pride sees his life appear to fall apart.

However, we all know that young love will win out over adversity.  In this case it is a matter of how that is going to happen.

My only negative comment about this novel, and it has more to do with the narrator than the author, was that the male voices working on the Harbour Bridge seemed to be shouting whenever they spoke.  This may have been to convey to the listener a sense of the type of men working in that environment.  I found these gruff voice characterisations a minor irritation in an otherwise enjoyable novel.   That said, I do believe that the idea of unskilled labourers working on the Bridge was thoroughly conveyed by the narrator James Harvy, to his audience.

The audio version to which I listened was narrated alternately by Zoe Ellerton-Ashley and James Harvy.   Overall, I enjoyed their narrations, character voices and the perspective each character put on the same situation.

 

This was my first Kim Kelly novel and it will not be my last as I have just found and downloaded Paper Daisies and This Red Earth, also by Kim Kelly.

I think

The Blue Mile

 The Blue Mile

is a

read.

Goodreads readers have rated

The Blue Mile

 an average of 3.8 stars from

150 ratings and 40 reviews

 

The Blue Mile

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia, and Amazon

 

Book Review-The-Orphan’s-Tale

The Orphan’s Tale

by

Pam Jenoff

 

The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff is a heart-warming story about two women and their encounters with the Nazi regime during World War II.

Both are banished from their family homes for entirely different reasons and although there is quite an age difference they form a mutual bond.

One is accomplished circus aerial artist, the other a lost young girl who finds her way to circus life where it eventually becomes her home also.

They look forward to the day their circus goes on the road.  However, they find that they are being told where to perform and the even though they have crossed the border into France they are not safe from the Nazi regime of the time.

How and why Noa, and Astrid are banished and learn to share a circus life together is a heart wrenching part of their tale.  And theirs is a very rocky road to real friendship and trust.

This was my first Pam Jenoff read and I have since finished another of her novels.

 

I have rated

The Orphan’s Tale

 Image result for The Orphan's Tale

a

read.

Goodreads readers have rated

The Orphan’s Tale

an average of 4.03 stars from

15,806 ratings and 2,017 reviews

The Orphan’s Tale

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia and Amazon

 

Book Review-The-List

The List

by

Steve Martini

When I began this book I had no idea or preconceptions to what the title was referring.

However, it did not lake long before that became clear and book quickly developed into a quick, fast paced page turner.

It is an entertaining book about the media industry.  The interesting thing about this book is that the plot is happening…..now!

This was my second Steve Martini book.  I have since read a third, The Arraignment in 2017.  To  date, Martini’s books have remained interesting and fresh with a twist on the title.

Yes, I will be seeking more.

I think

The List

 Image result for the list martini

is definitely a

read.

Goodreads readers have rated

The List

 an average of 3.95 stars from 11,919 ratings and 145 reviews

The List

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia, and Amazon

 

Book Review-Jack-of-Diamonds

 

Jack of Diamonds 

by

Bryce Courtenay

Most people start at the very beginning.  Alas, I am not most people and my first Bryce Courtenay novel to be reviewed is also his last.  As far as I know.  I finished listening to the audio version a while ago now; on March, 24, 2014, to be precise.  I completed my review, which follows, the same day.

Read on……

I finished listening to the Jack of Diamonds today and was sad to see that I had reached the end of the story.  It was the best book I have listened to for some time.  I stress ‘listen’ as the narrator’s accents, Canadian, Italian, American, South African, German and Australian were, in my opinion, perfect.

Was the story line plausible?  Possibly.

Was it a good read/listen?  Definitely.

A five star, favourite book does not come along very often.

Does it have a Mature Adult rating?  Definitely.

However, language which befits the setting, plot and characters.

You have been warned.

It may not read as well as it sounded as an audio book.  I loved it.  Just a pity there will not be any more.

Spanning the Great Depression, World War II, follow by ties to the Las Vegas Mafia and a romance in South Africa all are combined as only Bryce Courtenay could, to weave a wonderful story.

If you have not read Jack of Diamonds it must be added to you list.


A definite five star favourite.
read.  

Goodreads readers have rated

Jack of Diamonds

an average of 3.92 stars from 1,515 ratings and 188 reviews

 Image result for jack of diamonds courtenay

Jack of Diamonds

can be purchased on-line at 

Fishpond, Booktopia and Amazon

Read in 2014

Book Review- The-Wrong-Child

The Wrong Child

by

Barry Gornell

 

The Wrong Child would have rate as one of the worst audio books I have listened to.  I specify audiobooks, as some reviewers have rated it quite the opposite.  The only reason, I can think of for a high rating, is that it is a book to ‘read’.

The narrator, while not as good as Sean Mangan, was reasonably good and he did his best to hold his audience’s attention.

The Wrong Child is supposed to be a story about a town where twenty-one of twenty-two children were killed in an accident.  However, the accident was not described, or explained, as far as I can remember until the last few minutes of the forty-second, and last track, or chapter.

And sadly The Wrong Child had nothing to do with a child being kidnapped or some other such event.  Rather The Wrong Child was the one who was not killed and unfortunately, for him, none of the townsfolk, including his parents, liked him.

Aside from all of the above other low-lights, planted in my mind, included, but we’re not limited to:

  • A man walking into a school classroom and frightening the students

  • A man digging a grave, stripping naked, folding his clothes and then?  We don’t know because the story took one of its many leaps which left me wondering had I missed a chapter.

  • The surviving child, known as ‘Dog’ (not Douglas) liked to masturbate which was described in detail on several occasions.

  • The local priest was not as celibate as he was supposed to be.

All in all it was The Wrong Book for me, at least

 

I have rated

The Wrong Child

 The Wrong Child

a lowly

read.

Goodreads readers have rated

The Wrong Child

an average of 3.13 stars from 15 ratings and 8 reviews

The Wrong Child

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia and Amazon

 

Book Review-Promise

Promise

by

Sarah Armstrong

 

Picture yourself.  You are a solid upstanding citizen with a good job and in a relationship with a like-minded person.  Then one day your world is turned upside down when a ‘family’ moves in next door.  It soon becomes obvious that both adults are using drugs.

However, it is not until the five year old daughter comes over to visit that your worries really commence.  You note human teeth marks on her leg, bruises on her body and she tells you that ‘Mummy did it’.  Of course you contact authorities.  Child welfare does nothing and the police visit antagonises the male, who is not the child’s father.  A few days later he is holding the five year old upside down and shaking her violently and promises to do worse if you call authorities again.

What would you do?  Abduct the girl?  Would you risk going to jail for the sake of a five year old girl?

That is exactly what Anna does.  She takes five year old Charlie and leaves town.  Anna and Charlie head for the bush.  They find refuge in a sparsely populated area with little connection to the outside world.  In this environment they are safe.  For a while!

All stories need an end and I am not prepared to reveal how this one ends.

I listened to this story and need to give the narrator a pat on the back on the back.  I have often stated that the narrator can make or break an audio book.  Leith McPherson’s narration of Promise made the book so enjoyable.   Characters were easily identifiable by ‘their’ voices.   A big plus when listening to audio books while driving.

I think

Promise

 Image result for Promise sarah armstrong

is definitely a

read.

Goodreads readers have rated

Promise

an average of 3.91 stars from 137 ratings and 26 reviews

Promise

can be purchased on-line at

FishpondBooktopia, and Amazon